London: Ravi Bopara will have every right to curse his misfortune if the thigh problem he picked up against Kent in the County Championship halts his chances of a Test recall. The signs were not promising on Saturday as he emerged at No. 8 with a runner, with Essex confirming he had a "slight tear to his right quad" after scans Friday evening.
It was a frustrating winter for Bopara, who was ever present in the Test squad but did not get the chance to add to his 12 caps even when Eoin Morgan was dropped after the series against Pakistan. He was the favourite to come into the side to face Sri Lanka but an untimely side injury meant he was unable to bowl, which impacted the balance of the side and Samit Patel was preferred in the middle order with drinks carrying again in Bopara's hands. In his favour this time is that his bowling is a far less important factor but England will not want to enter a Test with a player under an injury cloud.
Bopara has not had an extended run in the Test side since the 2009 series against Australia when his technique and confidence were unpicked during the first four matches before he lost his place for the deciding contest at The Oval. Since then he has made just two Test appearances, both against India last season, as an injury replacement for Jonathan Trott. In those two games he walked in facing no-win situations with England on 596 for 4 and 487 for 5 making scores of 7 and 44 not out. That followed the head-to-head battle with Morgan earlier that season, which the latter won at the last minute with 193 for the Lions against the Sri Lankans at Derby.